Thirty years ago, HCB celebrated ten years of monthly publication with a bumper issue of 124 pages, boosted by advertisers keen to ride the magazine’s coat tails at the 1989 MariChem show at the RAI Amsterdam that December. In those days, MariChem was still an event for the chemical tanker sector as well as the new-fangled tank container business, so it was a major happening in the dangerous goods calendar.
Even the list of advertisers in the December 1989 issue was a veritable who’s who of the industry, and this was matched by the announcement of the publication of HCB’s first-ever Tank Guide, a 200-page directory of everything relating to tank containers and road tankers. “One of the strongest themes to emerge during ten years of writing the Bulletin is the sheer dynamicism of the tank sector,” said editor Mike Corkhill in his comment piece. “More and more shippers have become aware of the [tank container] concept’s advantages over competitive forms of transport.”
In fact, within the pages of the December 1989 issue, it was not the tank container that took centre stage but more traditional means of moving dangerous goods. Our report on the incoming changes to ADR and RID made no mention of tank containers and the Regulations section led in fact with a report on the recent session of IMO’s Bulk Chemicals Sub-committee, which made some important decisions regarding hazard evaluation during ship loading and unloading and on the use of vapour emission control systems.
HCB’s annual survey of the chemical tanker fleet showed that the ‘big three’ – Stolt-Nielsen, Odfjell Westfal-Larsen and JO Tankers – continued their dominance of the deepsea business and had a successful year, with rising petrochemical production helping bolster vessel demand in a comparatively tight supply position. Some of the leading names in the shortsea business, other than Stolt-Nielsen, may be less familiar to younger readers: Adriatic Tankers, Dorval Shipping, United Chemical Tankers and Gebr Broere were among the larger fleets in those days.
There was a bullish report from the LNG-9 event in Nice, France in October, where Shell’s Malcolm Peebles may have thought he was being over-optimistic in saying that LNG trade volumes should be able to reach 100 mta in the first decade of the 21st century, or “we ought to be ashamed of ourselves”. In fact, by 2012, international seaborne trade in LNG had exceeded 220 mta. Somewhat wider of the mark, although interesting nonetheless given current attempts to improve sustainability in the supply chain, was a Russian project to use LNG as an aircraft fuel. While some practice flights had taken place, the developers reported, perhaps not surprisingly, that “many problems have still to be resolved”.
In the US, debate continued about the desirability or otherwise of adopting the UN approach to the approval and use of packagings for hazardous materials. The then little-known Conference on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) debated the issue, with Larry Bierlein noting that the US had been trying to move towards ‘performance-oriented packaging’ since 1982. Andy Altemos and Martin Castle provided more detail on the UN’s multimodal system but Bob Ten Eyck was more cautious and Ed Mazzulo acknowledged industry’s reservations. It would be some time more before HM-181 came into effect.[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: December 1989 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 30-years-ago-december-1989 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-04 09:04:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-04 09:04:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=12311 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )